Rabbi’s Reflections – Tuesday, August 25, 2020

Shalom *|FNAME|*,

Boker Tov (I’m writing at 6am on Monday).  My prayer for you is that your week will be filled with the presence of God (Who loves you, perfectly).  May the power of His resurrected Son be in you and come out from you to bless the chaotic world in which we live.  Amen.

Enjoy this little (38 second) snippet of a little Israeli boy blessing the month of Elul in anticipation of the Feast of Trumpets which starts next month on the evening of Friday, September 18th… https://www.facebook.com/464378687028017/videos/3242995942445536/?t=2   Please come to Shomair that evening at 6pm to participate in our holiday dinner.  Please bring something to share.  

A flyer to help you make note of the services and details is imaged above.  Please make note of it.


I’m going to write today about two Hebrew words, “Shechorah” and “Navah” (meaning “black or dark” and “lovely”) from Song of Songs 1:5a I am black, but beautiful…  Let’s clear up the translation.  The Hebrew never says “but.”  It says “and.”  

Another problem with the TLV translation is the word “Navah” is not “beautiful” (there are several other Hebrew words that could have been used if the intention were “beautiful”), but “lovely.”  There is a difference between “beautiful” and “lovely.”  Beautiful is an adjective while lovely is similar but can also be a noun or an adverb.

So a better translation would be “dark and lovely.”  Who is speaking and why is this being said?  There are only 3 speaking parts in Song of Songs, the Bridegroom (the role played by Yeshua), the Shulamite (the role played by the Bride of Messiah), and the daughters of Jerusalem (the role played by nominal Believers, gainsayers, strivers and critics.  More on the daughters of Jerusalem… they stay daughters of Jerusalem until some of them, immature seekers, “get it” and become part of the Bride (they join the Shulamite near the end of the story).  Of those 3, only the Shulamite could be saying, “I am dark and lovely.”

Now that we know who is speaking, don’t you want to know why she said it?  Mike Bickel calls this the “Paradox of Grace.”  It’s a paradox because God sees past our dark side to call out what is not as if it is.  God sees us as lovely until we are just that, because He created us lovely.  The enemy has tried to steal that loveliness from God, but God is greater.  

Yeshua told Peter, Luke 22:31 “Simon, Simon! Indeed, satan has demanded to sift you all like wheat.32 But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith will not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers.”  Yeshua prayed for Peter, and now, because of the cross, His intercession is eternal.  He’s telling us today, “I died so that you might live.”  

Flesh cannot overcome flesh.  Only Spirit can overcome flesh.  This paradox is also documented at the end of Romans 7 and in the beginning of Romans 8.  

The dark…

Romans 7:22 For I delight in the Torah of God with respect to the inner man, 23 but I see a different law in my body parts, battling against the law of my mind and bringing me into bondage under the law of sin which is in my body parts. 24 Miserable man that I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death?

The lovely…

Romans 8:1 Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Messiah Yeshua. 2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Messiah Yeshua has set you free from the law of sin and death. 3 For what was impossible for the Torah—since it was weakened on account of the flesh—God has done. Sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and as a sin offering, He condemned sin in the flesh— 4 so that the requirement of the Torah might be fulfilled in us, who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Ruach.

How did we get from “dark and lovely” to “the requirement of the Torah?”  Because we define our love for God in terms of obedience.  John 14:15 “If you love Me, you will keep My commandments.  Our obedience of God is lovely to him.  But that’s the Scripture for tomorrow.  

Week 35
Memory Verse: John 13:34 “I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, so also you must love one another. 35 By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”

171   8/24      Monday:      John 11; Matthew 21:1-13 

* 172 8/25      Tuesday:      John 13

173   8/26      Wednesday: John 14-15

174   8/27      Thursday:     John 16

175   8/28      Friday:       Matthew 24:1-31

Question of the day:  What did Yeshua know, and when did He know it?

Answer:  Yeshua knew all things.  John 13:3 Yeshua knew that the Father had given all things into His hands, and that He had come from God and was returning to God.  This is so profound that we should marvel at God’s plan.

Yeshua knew Judas was about to betray Him, yet He allowed Him to remain at (the last) supper (and even partake of communion).  Yeshua had no fear, although He had reason to fear.  Yeshua trusted His Father.  

We also, should be delivered from fear.  1 John 4:18 There is no fear in love, but perfect love drives out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and the one who fears has not been made perfect in love.  The grave will not hold the faithful.  

Paul understood this.  2 Corinthians 5:6 Therefore we are always confident and know that while we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord. 7 For we walk by faith, not by sight. 8 We are confident, I say, and prefer rather to be absent from the body and at home with the Lord.

The worst thing that can happen to an ordinary human being (kaput) is not the worst thing that can happen to the follower of Yeshua.  Paul is saying while we are at home in our bodies (alive), we are absent from the Lord.  When we leave our bodies (die), we are immediately present with the Lord.  

As the hour of His departure drew near, Yeshua wrapped Himself in a towel and cleaned the feet of His disciples, to show His love for them one last time.  John 13:4 So He gets up from the meal and lays aside His outer garment; and taking a towel, He wrapped it around His waist. 5 Then He pours water into a basin. He began to wash the disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel wrapped around Him.

Our prayer should be, Oh Lord, may we finish our assignment on earth well and completely, before you call us home.  On that happy thought, have a great rest of the day.